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With “Rocketman” set to delight audiences with another tale of how a rock icon found fame and fortune, let’s remember the movie that did it better than all the rest: the 2007 film “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.” While not an actual biopic, a recent oral history for The Ringer shows just how much work went into making sure that the parody shone as brightly as the real thing.
To tell the story of the fictional Johnny Cash-like rocker portrayed by John C. Reilly, they built seven hotel rooms and three music studios, with music director Michael Andrews overseeing the creation of 45-50 songs within six months. “John was literally on set all day and then we’d record at night,” he said. “He was working around the clock making these records.”
Filmmakers - Envelope - Film - R - Rating
The filmmakers pressed the envelope on the film’s R rating, later releasing an unrated version on DVD. “There’s the scene with John and I, where I’m laying on top of him in lingerie,” said Jenna Fischer, who portrayed Cox’s future wife. “But we’re just friends. And we’re talking. I remember [the producers] saying, “Can you improv? Just say the dirtiest stuff but like super deadpan and earnest and matter of fact.” And I thought that was so funny. So I just started spewing the dirtiest dirty talk I could think of. And they were cracking up, and we were all cracking up, and then when we cut, I realized how revealing that was. I could only say things, maybe not that I had done, but that I at least knew about. I was like, ‘Wow, I’ve really revealed something about myself in this...
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